This article is meant to cover the basics for legal 50/50 raffles for pro sports teams and their foundations in Texas. As with any law the devil is in the details, and I will be covering those details in future articles.
In 2015 Texas voted on Proposition 4 which allowed professional sports teams’ foundations to hold 50/50 raffles at their home games in Texas. It was introduced by Representative Charlie Geren on behalf of the Texas Rangers.
A 50/50 raffle is a raffle where half of the raised money goes as a cash prize to a raffle winner with the other half going to the charity. Current Texas law under the Charity Raffle Enabling Act allows teams to conduct two raffles per year, and they cannot be cash prizes. Proposition 4 basically allowed cash prizes and the ability to hold raffles at all the home games of the teams.
Proposition 5 passed in December of 2017. It removed the requirement that foundations had to have been in existence in 2016 as per Proposition 4, along with allowing debit to be used to purchase tickets. Proposition 4 also defined professional sports teams as major league sports teams. Proposition 5 expanded the definition of professional sports team to include certain minor league sports teams, motorsports racing teams, Professional Golf Association events, and other teams as defined by law. For a complete list of teams added in December see here.
50/50 Raffles are a big part of hockey, and sports, culture in Canada. Electronic 50/50 raffles were birthed in Canada and been home to the largest jackpots recorded. World Jr’s have had hockey games with $300,000 jackpots and the Canadian Football League has had electronic 50/50 raffles as high as $750,000.
It should be noted…the attendance at these Canadian sporting events are half of what you would find at a NFL game so the Potential in the US and specifically Texas is huge.
A program should be put together with the charities the Professional Sports Foundation supports along with long-term planning towards building a database of players to support future raffle endeavors, whether they be for the game day experience 50/50 raffles, or even Foundation sponsored lotteries with all sorts of fun prizes such as cars, boats or trips.
This article is meant to be and informative piece on Texas raffle regulations.